Why Now is the Right Time for Titanfall 3

titanfall 2

It’s been a week since EA officially made the questionable decision to cancel Respawn Entertainment’s first-person Star Wars game. By all accounts, the game was fun, progressing well, and in hindsight would have probably made EA a decent amount of revenue. Nonetheless, EA decided to sunset the game to shift its strategy and focus on its owned IP – which is a decision that could bode well for fans of the Titanfall universe.

First, let me be clear, I currently do not know if Respawn Entertainment is working on Titanfall 3. Respawn Entertainment has of course dabbled with the idea multiple times in the past and I have seen the likes of concept art, but for one reason or another, the game just hasn’t come to fruition as of yet. But before we toy with the idea of why Titanfall 3 makes a lot of sense, let’s dive into why EA is making changes and what that could mean moving forward.

Why the Change from License IP?

EA’s move has been somewhat of a controversial one, but to answer the question as to “why” in just two words – licensing costs. It’s the reason why Star Wars Battlefront 3 was never greenlit in 2020-2021 despite being pitched with strong ideas. It was also a major factor in the publisher’s move away from the FIFA brand, of which EA Sports FC has seen tremendous success.

“Why do Battlefront with a 20-25% licensing fee when we can just do Battlefield”, one source said on why the decision was taken to have DICE focus entirely on the Battlefield franchise. When it’s put like that, it makes a bit more sense. Battlefront 2 sold 9 million units within its first month, whereas one year later, Battlefield V sold 7.3 million units in its first month. At first glance, Battlefront 2 did better, but with the 20% license fee, they would be roughly the same in terms of profit – so why take the risk on a licensed IP that has unfavorable terms to the publisher?

Combining this with Disney’s desire to have a new Star Wars game every six months, it starts to paint a picture of enormous risk that a publisher might not want to make in the event that the franchise becomes tiresome with fans. Announced Star Wars projects so far include Outlaws by Ubisoft, Eclipse by Quantic Dream, a third Jedi game by Respawn, a new Star Wars game headed by Amy Hennig at Skydance Media, and a Knights of the Old Republic Remake by Saber Interactive. That’s already five major AAA Star Wars games that we should see in the next few years – and that’s just the ones we know about.

That isn’t the only drawback to working on license IP either, as creative restrictions are usually enforced heavily by the license IP holders, too. In a Town Hall meeting in early 2022, EA CEO Andrew Wilson spoke on the decision to move away from the FIFA brand, with one reason cited to include the ability to have more creative freedom.

“Our players are telling us they want us to move really quick – ‘we want you guys doing stuff fast’. And in order to do that, we need a level of freedom to be truly creative, innovative, and experiment in the marketplace,” he said.

Ultimately, while I do think this just simply boils down to licensing costs and being able to reduce costs to a minimum, creative freedom could have also been a factor in the decision.

Why Titanfall 3 Makes Sense Now

To be honest, Titanfall 3 always made sense to me. Sure, Titanfall 2 wasn’t a massive commercial success, but for the most part that was because of EA’s bizarre timing of release. The game was released between EA’s own Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – two juggernauts in the FPS space. EA made the decision to release the game between the titles because they felt that the FPS audiences between the games didn’t overlap… Yeah, you read that right.

As a result, financial firm Morgan Stanley predicted that the game sold an estimated four million units – well below the 10 million that was expected by EA. But now at least, Respawn Entertainment, EA, and the Titanfall universe are seemingly in the best spot to see Titanfall 3 thrive.

Respawn Entertainment seemingly now has the developers to work on something new following the cancelation of Mando and EA does have some potential crossover opportunities with Apex Legends. While I don’t see Titanfall 3 being a premium release attached to Apex Legends, in the same way that Call of Duty premium titles are attached to Warzone for example, I do think some cool opportunities can be done there.

It’s clear that fans are still craving a Titanfall 3, and now rumors are beginning to suggest that the Respawn team is working on something in the Titanfall universe… But why not just make a third game? To me, that’s baffling and makes zero sense when you have a really strong established IP with an audience demanding a third game.

Granted, I think they [EA] are leaning on Titanfall 2’s poor sales in making such a decision, but let’s be honest, you fucked up on releasing it when you did. Come to terms with that and give the people what they want.

For more from Insider Gaming, check out our exclusive news on the next Battlefield game, which will have a free-to-play Battle Royale connected to it.